We take up a new sport or activity and at first, progress is terrific. After a while progress slows and sooner or later, we learn the term plateau – which means we are no longer getting faster/stronger/bendier/more accurate. And if we try to go a bit quicker or push a bit more weight or bend a leeetle bit further, something goes twannnng and we end up with a trip to the physio/chiro/osteo/massage therapist’s – or even to the surgeon’s.
Sometimes people end up coming to me having exhausted other options – and find that doing a bit of stuff with the eyes or tongue really reduces the pain. Then things start improving again, which, to the uninitiated seems like magic: how can improving tongue function get rid of back ache?
If we own a robot and it stops working for no obvious reason, we don’t just assume that one of the joints has seized up – that would be daft. The problem could be in the wiring, the programme, the joints, the fuel supply, the sensors. And, where the human bean is concerned, the problem usually lies in a combination of all the above.
If we want the robot to do more, we have to do things to the robot to enable this: reprogramme it, improve its sensors, increase the fuel supply. We have to do more than just make it stronger of moving joints.
Yet when we are trying to overcome a plateau and possibly working with an injury, the only place all therapies look is at the body which equates to the muscles, the tendons, the ligaments, the fascia, the bones. Yes, the more advanced therapist may realise the problems are starting maybe at the spine or head position – but these are still body parts. They never look at improving communications between the brain and the body – the wiring; at improving the sensors – eyes, ears and skin sensation; at improving the energy supplies – breathing, eating and drinking.
It’s extraordinary that we think about robots more holistically than we think of ourselves.
Which means that if we have a pain in the knee, yes, the muscles around the knee are not working properly, but those muscles will not magically start working properly again, no matter how much a skilled massage therapist prods and cajoles them into action or we do a bend ze knee exercise set by a physiotherapist – none of this will work long term if the knee pain is being driven by a problem in the brain stem that is making the signals coming to and from the brain foggy. A robot has communication systems between the programme and the moving parts – and so do we.
The pain in the knee will never go away long term if our eyes and ears are not working well; a robot that moves about has sensors and if one of the sensors is not working as it should, then the robot will not be working very well at all and ultimately will break down.
So if a plateau has been hit, find your local Z-Health trainer and reboot your robot using neurological magic.